Davids, Miller re-elected, but now in the minority
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 4:23 AM
Voters in the area re-elected Rep. Greg Davids and Sen. Jeremy Miller by healthy margins, but the two Republicans will find themselves in the minority when they return to the Capitol in January as both the House and Senate in Minnesota flipped from Republican to DFL control as a result of the statewide vote last week.
Davids beat DFL challenger Ken Tschumper with 58.2 percent of the vote in District 28B. Miller polled 57.1 percent of the vote in the district against Jack Krage.
Davids said he was pleased with the way the vote went in his district, which now includes his former home.
He said voters responded to his message of turning a shortfall into a surplus, working with both sides of the aisle and prioritizing state budget issues to aid areas such as K-12 education and public safety.
"We worked very, very hard, and we were very pleased with the results," said Davids. He added that he was "blessed" with a good group of volunteers, adding "you know, you don't do it by yourself."
As far as the statewide results that changed the House from a 72-61 Republican majority to a 73-61 DFL majority, Davids feels the constitutional amendments on the ballot hurt the Republicans, particularly in the second and third ring suburbs, where his party lost a lot of seats.
They "brought out a lot of folks to defeat those" and they likely didn't support Republican candidates, he said.
"The people are always right; the people have spoken," said Davids.
In his 20-year legislative career, he has spent 10 years as part of the majority and 10 years as part of the minority. He said he prefers the majority, but has no problem working in the minority.
He has established a good relationship with the other side of the aisle, he said, citing the Minnesota House Taxes Committee that he was chairman of for the past two years. He noted the committee always heard DFL provisions first.
"They've seen that I have been able to operate in a very bipartisan way as tax chair," he said.
Although he has operated as a member of the minority party previously, the new alignment will be "unfamiliar territory" as this will be the first time in his legislative career in which both branches and the governor are all controlled by one party. When one party controls too much, there is a tendency for overreach, something he has seen in the past from both parties.
However, his take on comments from the new majority leaders is that they will take a cautious approach, realizing that the governor's tax plan "won't fly in this fragile economy." He says he intends to work with the majority party and "hope to do some good things for southeastern Minnesota" during the next two years.
"You have to build relationships," he said. "They will pay off in the end."
Miller's second term
Miller said it's an honor to be re-elected to serve the people of Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties in District 28.
"Our win is the result of working hard, working together and getting things done for our district and the state of Minnesota," said Miller.
Miller was first elected two years ago when Republicans took control of both chambers of the Legislature for the first time in 40 years. However Tuesday's election reversed that as the Senate went from 37-30 Republican to 39-28 DFL as a result of voting last week.
Miller said the turnaround won't change his approach much as he will continue to listen to the people and work together with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get things done.
"It's not good for any party, Democrat or Republican, to have complete control of the Legislature and governor's office," said Miller. "It's important to have checks and balances, but the reality is Minnesota now has one party in full control. The good news is that the state of Minnesota is in much better financial and economic position today compared to two years ago."
He pointed out that in less than two years, the state went from a budget deficit of more than $6 billion to a budget surplus of more than $1 billion. The state's unemployment rate dropped from more than 7 percent to under 6 percent.
"This is the result of being fiscally responsible, reforming state government, and promoting policies that encourage job growth and economic development," said Miller.
He said his priorities for the 2013 legislative session are jobs and the economy, fiscal responsibility and education, noting that he will also continue to support senior citizens, veterans and the most vulnerable.